About me

PhD candidate, Research Associate, Editor

Knaresborough Castle
Knaresborough Castle, 2015

Book historian specialising in late medieval and early modern reading history and literature, and the connections between medieval and contemporary book production, publishing, and Digital Humanities.

PhD (Bristol), MA (King’s College London), BA (Bangor)

Currently in the writing-up year of a PhD titled Women and their Books: The Ownership and Readership of Arthurian Literature in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century England at the University of Bristol, I’m also the Research Associate (until September 2016) on the two-year AHRC and British Library-funded project, The Academic Book of the Future.

I left a successful career in publishing in January 2013 to pursue my ambition of completing a PhD (I wrote a blog post about that experience here.) It was the best move I’ve ever made, and I wrote a blog post six months in to my PhD, and another one 18 months in too – read those to see why I love what I do. My thesis combines my interests in books, reading, women, fifteenth- and sixteenth- century England, and Arthurian literature. This blog is a natural extension of my medieval, early modern, digital, scholarly, and other interests – a place for me to explore further.

I recently  I co-edited a volume titled The Academic Book of the Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) with my friend and colleague Dr Samantha Rayner (UCL), free to download in Open Access here: http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-1-137-59577-5 . We also have another volume on academic books and publishing, forthcoming in 2016 with UCL Press.

I enjoy running and charity fundraising, and ran the PlusNet Yorkshire Marathon in 2015 for the Alzheimer’s Society. I currently live in Wiltshire with my partner.

I hope you enjoy the blog, and do get in touch by leaving a comment or connecting with me on Twitter: @MedievalBex

All the best,

March 2016

20 thoughts on “About me

  1. I like your website. I live in Lancashire and have an interest in ‘Gwyr y Gogledd’ ‘Men of the North’ and hence the Bards of the books of Ancient Wales, Taliessin, Llywarch Hen, Aneurin. The Northern references to Arthur are swept under the carpet too often. Congrats.

    1. Thanks for your comment, I’m really glad you’re enjoying the blog. You’re right, Arthur is such a huge part of British and even continental European cultural heritage, not just the south of England. I recently attended a conference where one of the speakers examined Arthur and the Scottish connection – particularly the Orkneys, and another paper looked at how the tales developed in Italy. He was certainly well-travelled!

      1. Hi – I found your post very interesting. I was a Police Officer at Bethnal
        Green in the 1960’s/70’s and we often drove around the Minories with the
        area car. The Mint was still there in those days and the Governor used to
        tand at the entrance and have the alarm sounded. He had a stopwatch to
        time our arrival – we had three minutes from any part of the East End –
        quite frightening in the traffic.

        I am doing a blog on the top militaria forum – gmic.co.uk – on my early
        days in the Metropolitan Police – may I have your permission to use some of the illustrations you show ? You are very welcome to see the blog – these will be in Part 7. I will go ahead and show them – but, will of course remove if you object.

        I live in Durban, Sth. Africa now – but miss the old buildings and history.

        Best wishes Mervyn Mitton

      2. Thanks for your comment Mervyn – always nice to hear from someone with a fellow connection to East London! As for the images – they’re not mine, they were all found from Google searches, so please don’t worry about crediting them to me (unless I’ve put a specific credit in the image caption, in which case please replicate this on your blog). Please send me the link to your blog post, I’d be very interested to see it.

        Best wishes,


  2. Hi, I found your blog as I was searching for Arthurian MA courses.. Im an aspiring medievalist about to apply to the UK for my MA so i was wondering whether I could ask you a few questions and get an ‘inside scope’ on the programme, if that’s ok with you?

  3. Hi Dima,

    No problem! Thanks for getting in touch. I have your email address from where you entered it in to leave a comment, so I’ll drop you a line there if that’s ok?

  4. Hello Bex, we wonder whether we could invite you to present your PhD project on our blog? We just started our section “1000 words research” with a contribution from an art historian, writing about her project: http://mittelalter.hypotheses.org/537 . We would be honoured if you could consider writing about yours. Just contact us via email or @mittelalterblog

  5. Wow, what a wonderful site. I’m visiting London in April after a period of nearly 40 years absence. I’m excited!
    In the meantime I’ve taught History to young Australians and loved every minute of it ( well, nearly every minute..). My interest is to immerse myself in London’s history by taking myself on walking and/or bike tours. I’m staying my first night at St Katherine’s Monastery. How special is that!
    Bex, I look forward to reading your blogs to get guidance as to where to go and what not to miss. Anyone who wants to give me suggestions is most welcome!
    Best wishes to you Medieval Bex and thank you.


    Rosemary Wright

    1. Hi Rosemary,

      I’m really glad you’ve been enjoying the posts! I hope you enjoyed your London trip and managed to visit lots of historical sites 🙂 Please do drop me a line and let me know what you saw! The sad thing about most of the places I write about is that they don’t exist anymore – they’re ghosts really. I suppose I’m trying to perpetuate their memory, and explore London That Was.

      Best wishes,


  6. I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing
    this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own site now 😉

  7. thanks for the great information. I am an archaeologist at University of Denver, Colorado USA and will be in St. Albans in July to do work with ground-penetrating radar at some Roman sites in town with Kris Lockyear (UCL). I have been spending lots of time recently looking at my own family history and have found records of Hearth Taxes on his house on S. Fenchurch Road (spelled Fanch St. S in the records) from 1666. Also know that he and many descendants were members of the All Hallows Staining church, of which only a tower still remains.
    Anyway, I have only one day on July 13 (and perhaps the morning of the 14th) to wander around and see if there is anything remaining of this neighborhood (I suspect not…) as I am going to write a book on all this. I found the site where they did some deep excavations nearby and found Roman materials and some other younger things. But just wondering if there is anyone that knows their way around this neighborhood who can point me in the correct direction. Super. if you have any information on this. thanks!

  8. Hi Bex – I am now following your blog. I found you on twitter and the stuff you like is so close to my tastes it appeared almost uncanny! (Although I would have to add good food and wine to the list!).
    I am not a serious historian like yourself but I love the subject through all the ages. I do however have a particular interest in the Arthurian story and simply cannot get enough. I first came across it properly when I read Mary Stewarts Merlin trilogy. Although a work of fiction she mentioned her main source of inspiration as the History of the Kings of Britain by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and that kicked it all off for me.
    So I will follow you avidly despite being a rank amateur, I am currently writing historical fiction and I have just started my own blog I would love to invite you as a guest link or whatever it is called (Once I get going properly and when you have time obviously).
    In the meantime what are your thoughts on Alistair Moffat’s ‘Arthur and the Lost Kingdoms?’
    Would love to hear from you – kind regards – Mike

    1. Hello, Bex. You have been getting some interesting comments from new readers – good to know that there is still interest in our history.

      I think my blog is up to about 8 entries and I try to cover – at the beginning of each one – a little of the history on the East End as it was when I was a Police Officer in Bethnal Green in 1967. The Forum is the top Militaria one – based in London – we have 9000 members. The address is gmic.co.uk – the blog section is marked and I post under my name.
      Shrould you wish to use any of the illustrations or, wording, then please feel
      free to do so. Best wishes Mervyn Mitton

  9. Hello! I’ve so enjoyed your pages – was led here while finding out more about the ‘palays on pilars’. I’ve also now learned why the Minories are called that: thank you. We were walking all around there last Sunday.

    We live in York and have medieval leanings of our own. I sing v. old masses with the Clerkes of All Saints’ North Street, and my husband Charlie loves the mystery plays: he produced Noah’s Flood last year (real doves! real raven!! – see http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosyhunt/sets/72157636464527146/)

    So all the best to you and your studies. I’ll certainly be keeping up to date with your posts.


  10. Hello Bex, so random that I should come across your blog from seeing your post about joining the Yorkshire Marathon this year. I’m running it too, it’s going to be my first yorkshire marathon, but not my first marathon (I’m taking on two this year, not sure what’s possessed me to do so!). Anywho, just wanted to say I enjoyed reading your blog, I’m studying for an MA Medieval studies part time at the moment and thinking about PhD study so it’s interesting to see what a current PhD student thinks about their studies.

    All the best,


    1. Hi Martyn – what a small world!

      Wow, two marathons – next thing you know you’ll be one of these people who runs 100 marathons back-to-back…!

      Ah fab – where are you studying for the MA, at York? How are you finding it?


  11. Well I always said I wouldn’t do another marathon after my first, but look where I am now! So you never know!
    I’m studying at Lincoln for my MA 🙂 I’m really enjoying it actually, just starting work on my dissertation right now. It’s been nice studying part time. Not coming from a history background (admission alert: this will be my first and only history qualification when I graduate, I’m a scientist by trade and previous education) it’s been nice to take it a slightly more leisurely pace.


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